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Stamp Duty Reforms saves buyers almost £2 billion!

Since the 4th December 2014 Stamp Duty (SDLT) reforms, home buyers have collectively saved £1.9 billion according to My Home Move.

This works out on average that each mover has saved £1,500 since the old system was abolished with 87% of estate agents confirming the changes had made a positive impact on the property market.

With house prices rising by 6% in the last year, the stamp duty changes are a definite benefit to todays house buyer, in particular the first time buyers struggling to get on the housing ladder.

This has shown a spike in UK home buyer interest with December showing the highest number of buyers visiting estate agents in a decade according to the National Association of Estate Agents.  On average 360 house buyers registered with estate agents in December, which is the highest this has been since 2004.

The most severe increase was at the level of £250,000 where a home costing £249,000 carrying an SDLT charge of £2,490.  In contrast, a home costing £251,000 carried a massively inflated charge of £7,350.

The new system means there are no big leaps in duty and house sales will no longer cluster just under each of the thresholds.

According to a recent report from the Office for National Statistics, despite the Stamp Duty reforms, the first-time buyer market still has a long way to go before it reaches the level of sales seen a decade ago.

During the 80’s and into the 90’s one in three 16- to 24-year-olds were able to afford to buy their own home, in comparison to one in 10 today.

The good news however, is that mortgage lenders are starting to free up more funds to target those buyers with a small deposit.  HSBC have announced that as of 2 February it will launch the lowest two-year fixed-rate mortgage on the market for those with a 5% deposit. The rate will be 4.39% with a £99 fee.

For more information, please contact Nicola O’Hanlon at BCL Legal.

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